growing out a hybrid tomato
I have a tomato I am calling Red Bush, for lack of a better name. I bought a pack of White Bush seeds from a major seed-seller (Johnny’s). I planted some of the seeds, and got a surprise.
Red Bush – Who Are You?
When it comes to tomato colors, red is dominant over white. So my red tomato has to be a cross from White Bush and an unknown red tomato. Yes, it’s a hybrid tomato – the result of two different parents.
Now there’s no telling what variety the red plant was, especially since these seeds are from an old packet. But it’s an excellent chance to experiment! You see, when I save the seeds and plant them, I should get several different kinds of tomato plants, with different kinds of tomatoes. Some should be red, some white, some who knows what — depends on who the red parent was and if it was a hybrid!
(As an aside, I have another tomato plant growing from the same packet, and it is indeed the variety White Bush.)
Saving Tomato Seeds
Now I’m torn — do I eat that first red tomato off that plant, or do I save the seeds? The answer is – both! Since I have one ripe and one almost ripe, I can start the seed-saving process with some from the first tomato. Then some more from the second.
Since I’m saving these seeds for my own use, I’ll save them on a paper towel. But if I was saving tomato seeds to give to another person, I’d use the normal process that gets rid of any unwanted pathogens.
Having an obvious cross like this tomato makes it quite interesting to see what grows out. And while it’s fairly unusual to get an obviously crossed tomato in a commercial seed packet, it’s fun when you do!
Tomato Red Bush – who are you, really? I may never know, but I sure will have fun with its “children”!